Topics handled by WTO committees and agreements
Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements


Parties, observers and accessions

The Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) consists of 15 parties covering 43 WTO members (counting the European Union and its 28 member states, all of which are covered by the Agreement, as one party). Another 29 WTO members and four international organizations participate in the GPA Committee as observers. Eleven of these members with observer status are in the process of acceding to the Agreement.


Most parties have been bound by the Agreement since its entry into force. Some acceded to the Agreement at a later date, as shown below. The table also shows the date of entry into force of the revised GPA for each party.


Date of entry into force/accession

GPA 1994

Revised GPA


15 Sep 2011



1 Jan 1996

6 Apr 2014

European Union
with regard to its 28 member states:

6 Apr 2014

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom

1 Jan 1996

Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovak Republic and Slovenia

1 May 2004

Bulgaria and Romania

1 Jan 2007


1 Jul 2013

Hong Kong , China

19 Jun 1997

6 Apr 2014


28 Apr 2001

6 Apr 2014


1 Jan 1996

6 Apr 2014


1 Jan 1996

16 Apr 2014

Korea, Republic of

1 Jan 1997



18 Sep 1997

6 Apr 2014

Netherlands with respect to Aruba

25 Oct 1996

4 July 2014


1 Jan 1996

6 Apr 2014


20 Oct 1997

6 Apr 2014


1 Jan 1996


Chinese Taipei

15 Jul 2009

6 Apr 2014

United States

1 Jan 1996

6 Apr 2014


Accession to the GPA    back to top

All WTO members are eligible to accede to the GPA. At present, eleven WTO members are in the process of acceding. These are China, New Zealand, Montenegro, Albania, Georgia, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Oman, Tajikistan and Ukraine. Five other WTO members have undertaken commitments, in their WTO accession protocols, to initiate accession to the GPA. They are the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and Seychelles.

The accession process starts with the submission of an application for accession and has two main aspects: negotiations between the acceding member and parties of the GPA on the former's coverage offer, and verification that the acceding member's procurement legislation is consistent with the GPA's requirements - for example, regarding transparency, procedural fairness for suppliers and domestic review.

Pursuant to Article V of the revised GPA, special and differential treatment for developing countries in the form of transitional measures such as offsets, price preference programmes, initially higher thresholds and phasing-in of entities can be negotiated by a developing acceding country in the accession process, subject to the agreement of the other parties and the acceding member's development needs.

Once the terms of accession have been agreed between the GPA parties and the acceding WTO member, the Committee adopts a decision inviting the member to accede to the Agreement. The decision specifies the agreed terms and provides a timeframe for the acceding member to deposit its instrument of accession with the WTO Director-General (typically three to six months).

The WTO Secretariat provides technical assistance to assist developing country WTO members interested in learning more about the GPA and/or acceding to the GPA. Where appropriate and desired by accession candidates, other intergovernmental organizations (e.g. regional development banks) or governance-focused institutes may also provide technical assistance with regard to GPA accession.


Observers    back to top

Any WTO member or observer may submit a written request to the Government Procurement Committee to participate in the Committee as an observer, and may be accorded observer status. The process of becoming an observer is set out by a Decision of the Committee on Government Procurement GPA/1, Annex 1.

WTO members with observer status in the GPA Committee

Observer government

Date of acceptance by Committee as observers

Albania *

2 October 2001


24 February 1997


4 June 1996


9 December 2008


3 May 2001


29 September 1997

China *

21 February 2002


27 February 1996

Georgia *

5 October 1999


10 February 2010


31 October 2012

Jordan *

8 March 2000

Kyrgyz Republic *

5 October 1999


18 July 2012

Moldova *

29 September 2000


23 February 1999


31 October 2012

New Zealand *

9 December 2008

Oman *

3 May 2001


29 September 1997


11 February 2015

Russian Federation

29 May 2013

Saudi Arabia

13 December 2007

Sri Lanka

23 April 2003


25 June 2014

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

27 June 2013


4 June 1996

Ukraine *

25 February 2009

Viet Nam

5 December 2012

* Negotiating accession.

International intergovernmental organizations granted observer status in the GPA Committee

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